Frequently Asked Questions about University Hospitals Research Credentialing

Who needs to complete the UH Research Credentialing process?

Anyone who is an employee or student of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), employee of The MetroHealth System, employee of the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, an employee or student of Ursuline College, or are a volunteer registered through the UH Volunteer Services Office that requires access to UH Protected Health Information (PHI) for research purposes must complete this process

Please e-mail UHResearchCredentialing@uhhospitals.org if you are not affiliated with one of the listed institutions and desire access to UH PHI.

Why is this process necessary?

HIPAA laws protect the privacy and confidentiality of an individual’s protected health information (PHI). University Hospitals is required to ensure the protection of this information.

Medical students are on-boarded through the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Office. Are they required to do this in addition to the GME requirements?

Yes if they are participating in research at UH. Please complete the online application.

Are individuals who do not have social security numbers able to be credentialed for research purposes?

Yes. Foreign nationals without a social security number are able to be credentialed. There is a section to indicate this on the Application for Research Staff Appointment.

Are individuals who are registered through the UH Volunteer Services Office able to assist with my research projects?

Yes. For example, if non-CWRU students are assisting as volunteers on your research project, they can register through the UH Volunteer Services Office first and then complete the Application for Research Staff Appointment – For UH Volunteers.

How long is my credentialing ‘active’?

Once the UH Research Credentialing process has been completed and approved, the certification is only active for one year and requires an annual renewal. To renew your UH Research Credentials, please complete the Re-Application for Research Staff Appointment.

What happens when my current UH IRB-approved research studies change once credentialed?

If the research projects you are involved with change once credentialed, notify the UHCRC at UHResearchCredentialing@uhhospitals.org. In the e-mail please provide your name, the updated UH IRB-approved protocol number(s) and the principal investigator(s).

After I have completed my application, how long does it take for my application to be approved?

Complete application submissions are typically processed and approval granted within 5-10 business days or less. Once your application has been approved, you will receive an e-mail notification (including your expiration date).

I am already in the CREC program, does this mean I have met the UH Research Credentialing requirements?

No. The Continuing Research Education Credit (CREC) Program is the human subject protection certification program administered through Case Western Reserve University CREC Program. This program certifies researchers in the ethical practices of research with human participants. UH Research Credentialing requires researchers understand the federal laws about protecting clinical research data, specifically, protected health information (PHI) for research participants and has separate requirements for completion.

How do I access my CITI Health Information Privacy and Security (HIPS) module completion report?

To access your Completion Report:

1) Login to CITI
2) Click the link "Click here to see your previously completed coursework"
3) Under the heading "CITI Health Information Privacy and Security (HIPS) Curriculum" click the link "Print Completion Report"
4) Save as an electronic file (or print and scan)
How should I store PHI required for my research?

UH Protected Health Information (PHI) should be stored on a secure UH approved device, preferably in a secured folder within the UH shared network drive, the S: drive. (For assistance in setting up a secured folder contact the UH Help Desk at 216-844-3327.) It is not permissible to store UH PHI on personally owned computers, un-encrypted flash drives, or on mobile devices (including laptops, iPads, smartphones, etc.).


REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a FREE, secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases. UH REDCap will allow the safe, secure storage of all your research data, including the storage of PHI (Protected Health Information) HIPAA identifier fields for your UH IRB protocols. Learn more about UH REDCap or request a demo.

More Information

If you have additional questions or need more information, please e-mail UHResearchCredentialing@uhhospitals.org.

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